Ever wonder how hard it is to get a passport for your kid? Read my article on how to get one at LatinaMadre…
Whether you are leaving town for spring break or planning a big summer vacation, everyone is thinking of escaping winter. And for many, that means leaving the country. No matter where you go, be it the Caribbean, Mexico or even Canada, these days both you and your children need a passport.
There are some differences between children’s passports and adult ones. A major difference is the length of time for which they are valid. Children’s passports are only valid for five years, while an adult’s is good for 10 years. So when making plans to travel outside the country, make sure everyone’s passport is valid. Children’s passports also cannot be renewed by mail. One advantage, though, is that they cost less than an adult passport.
I love traveling with my kids – what I don’t love is going back to work after vacation. Traveling with children is a rewarding experience for me. I love telling my daughters about all of the new places we are traveling to and seeing the awe and wonder on their faces when they see amazing new things, but heading home is also a taxing chore and returning to work after a family vacation is – let’s be honest – not really something anyone can get excited about. So, I plotted out some great ways to get back into the swing of things…however, I admit I don’t always practice what I preach.
Probably one of the most obvious ways to get back to work after a vacation is to come home early. This is definitely something that I rarely practice. I’m the type of parent who returns on Christmas Eve without preparing for Christmas Day in advance. However, I always wish that I could be the responsible parent and return at least a day – or even a few hours – before such momentous occasions like the first day of school. I will say, if you do return early and use your time wisely to grocery shop, do laundry, prepare school lunches; it really makes it easier for everyone in the family to get back into the swing of things – and I, as a mom, would feel way less guilty.
While my first tip is something I rarely do, tip number two is something that I always do – separate my packing. If I am a totally disorganized parent, I am truly an organized traveler, which may account for bad habit number one. When returning from a trip, I always organize my bags so that they can be easily unpacked. I put all of my computer cords into a bag that can be dropped directly into our “technology corner” at home (we don’t have room for an office); I separate out all of my dirty clothes so that they can easily be dropped into the washer (I am the annoying person who travels with a big bag); I put belts, shoes and accessories together so that they can easily be stowed in their proper drawers upon my return. By doing this, I eliminate time unpacking and reorganizing, and I also limit the amount of stuff that trickles out of my suitcase and is misplaced around the house – most likely in my children’s rooms.
The third thing that I recommend is to never to leave the house dirty. This is something that I do about 50 percent of the time – remember, I am a disorganized parent. I will say, though, that when my house is neat and tidy upon my return, the chance that I unpack, put all of my things away and return to my normal habits is way better than if I leave my house untidy. Plus, I have the added bonus of knowing that if we someone does rob us, they probably won’t be able to find anything either.